Who was Ibsen, and what did he think?

“A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men, and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view” – Henrik Ibsen, 1878

list of ibsen quotes

  • What do the quotes tell us about Ibsen’s worldview?
    • It tells us that Ibsen wanted an equal society and wanted everyone all over the world to be respected the same. He wants to stand up for what he believes is right and feels the best way of expressing these emotions through writing in which he could spread awareness of his beliefs. He also believes money and a stable income is important.
  • What does he value? What does he criticise?
    • he values women and men being equal and criticises social injustice and those who are in debt.
  • Was Ibsen a product of, or ahead of, his times?
    • I believe he was ahead of his time. This is because of the quite early on advocating for setting injustices straight for the minority and was always on the minorities side. Being on the minorities side was rare at this time because everyone wanted to be respected by being part of the crowd, whereas now individuality is celebrated unlike back then.


19th Century Norway

  1. What do you believe to be the three most important facts about 19th century Norway?                                                  I think it is important that we know that at this time, Norway was beginning to industrialize. This means that factories and things like such were beginning to be built at this time- which could possibly mean getting rid of the aristocrats’ land and buying them to build said factories. It is also important that we know that many people were very over-aware of money and where their money was going to and what they would spend it on, this can show us how many people in this time may be very uptight about funds and this could create a more strict and stressful environment for the characters in the story. Finally, it is essential that we understand that expectations of being upper-middle class were also forming. This fact adds on to the stressful environment because the upper-middle class of 19th century Norway had to constantly maintain a good reputation so they would not be looked down on or less respected as wealthy people. An extra important fact that we should know is that at this time, women do not have much of a say in what goes on. They are expected to be a good housewife and do all the work in the house and are expected to do everything for their husbands. This gives us the perspective of the women in the play and their struggles with gender inequality.
  2. Why do you think the concept of respectability became more important as the middle class expanded?                      I think the concept became more important because as the middle class expanded. That meant there were more people and with more people of the same status, they could easily bond together and all have an alliance with each other to get equal benefits. With more people, there is more power. Hence, if you happened to disrespect one person in the middle class, the entirety of the middle class could come for you.

Background of “A Doll’s House” | Theater 271. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://pages.stolaf.edu/th271-spring2014/background-of-a-dolls-house/

Iceland (Alternatively titled, a city girl in the country)

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of going to Reykjavik, Iceland with my family. I landed in Reykjavik on a cold, gloomy morning. Very different from the heat wave that was happening in Scotland, where I had flown in from. My first impression of the country was that it was very cold, even from inside the plane I could feel the cold surrounding the vehicle. It was summer and it was 12 degrees Celsius. We got off the plane and began heading to the small Airbnb we were staying at for the 5 days we were there. In the cab, I was surprised by the lack of tall buildings surrounding us, it was all just field for miles before we finally got the Reykjavik which was mostly filled with small stores and restaurant with the occasional small building. It was a huge contrast to what I was used to in Singapore, with its huge skyscrapers, practically touching the clouds in the sky.

Once my parents and I got settled into our Airbnb, we quickly left to look around Reykjavik and grab a bite to eat after our plane ride. Now, I’ll be honest, I did my fair share of complaining about the lack of wifi in the area. I was so used to being able to walk into a random mall and be able to get wifi that being in Iceland where people actually cared less about wifi and social media (shocker!) was a total culture shock. Eventually, my parents and I decided on a pizza restaurant (so much for being cultured and eating the food of Iceland). Without wi-fi, I was able to find things to talk about with my parents and  I actually found myself laughing a lot more than I would be from pointless texts from my friends (don’t get me wrong I love them)

My trip to Iceland was very eye-opening and showed me that there was much more to life than my phone and social media. I am very grateful for this experience and hope I have more opportunities to travel to places like these in the future.


Henrik Ibsen – Are his words true?

“A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society, with laws framed by men and with a judicial system that judges feminine conduct from a masculine point of view”

To what extent are Ibsen’s words still true today? Provide real-life examples in your response.

I believe that compared to 1878, the world has definitely changed a lot for the better in terms of feminism. (or humanism, as it was called in Ibsen’s time) With the feminist movement reaching new heights in recent years, women are finally starting to accept themselves and men are also starting to respect that us women have our own rights and do not have to follow and a cater to a man’s agenda.

Examples of feminism pushing our society into a fairer system can be seen in the Philippines, where the movement of feminist rock has been shaking up the nation for the past year and spreading the word of feminism through rock music. This is a different way of spreading awareness as it is more loud and clear in terms of the message the artists are trying to send. Lack of feminism has long been a problem in the Philippines as it has been in more western countries. However, it seems that it is starting to look up with social media and pop culture starting to make marketing campaigns based around feminism and body acceptance.




My Partner’s Foundational Story: Adam and Eve

Through my partner’s presentation, I can see how the story of Adam and Eve was adapted into different media like books and movies. I found it interesting how he was able to find out how the traditional hakka alluded to Adam and Eve. I personally did not really see whether there was a significant change in the story over time, though it can be said that the story is simply adapted and revisioned over time through books and movies. I noticed that the movies inspired by Adam and Eve tend to be comedic, maybe this is to have the story appeal to younger audiences who find comedy interesting. I think this story lives on mostly due to the story’s relation to religion, hence allowing it to be spread around. I believe that the story is adapted and changed over time because fewer people start to believe in Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve is a story from the bible and in this day and age, a lot of people of are starting to care less about religion. Maybe people modernize it to try and keep the story relevant to this generation and the ones after it

Math – My Grade 9 Overview

To be honest, this year was quite difficult for me. Being my first year at UWCSEA, it was hard to transition from a school with a whole different curriculum. I have never been good at math, but maybe with the stress of the transition, I was not able to understand lessons as well as my peers. Being introduced to a new style of classroom time was a factor in it too, in my old school it was just sitting and staring at the teacher teach the same formula over and over until it was engraved in our heads while in UWCSEA, it is totally different – with classroom discussions and several investigations.

Overall, I think this year was quite difficult for me because I was not brave enough to ask questions- fearing that it would be too simple of a question. I should have gone to teachers or friends for help in mathematics when I needed it. I should also improve my study techniques. For the exam, I mainly took notes and tried so hard to understand the topics that I didn’t focus a lot on past paper questions which could have helped me in the exam.


Do rules for social media change as you age?

After looking through the articles regarding the youth and social media, I was able to gather some quotes that helped me try and elaborate my thinking regarding the rules of social media.

Firstly, I took the quote, “After all, my kids are digital natives: They’ve never known life without connectivity.”

This quote shares the idea of social media being a popular platform being relatively new. With it being new, it may mean that there are not even a concrete set of rules yet but several recommended attitudes people are expected to have on social media. Obviously, some people do not live up to such expectations because users technically do not have to follow it. So it may be that rules are not changing as we grow but more like being created as we grow. So a question we can also ask ourselves beside the title of this post is, “are rules for social media being made as the digital natives grow?”

The second quote I took away from the same article was, “I let him use Instagram because I wanted him to connect with other kids like him”
This quote shows that maybe certain views of social media by older generations have changed, which then results in a change of the “rules” parents set for their kids when they start using social media. Growing up, my parents had always told me not to talk to strangers online. Fearing that the person I could potentially be in contact with would be a whole different person from what they were online. However, this quote shows how parents become less and less worried about who their kids talk to on the internet. The author of the article is basically just allowing her son to be put out there on the internet and be able to connect with children who share similarities with him, fully knowing that there are chances of people lying about their relation to her child online. I feel that parents become less strict on this because they have started to trust their child’s judgment on whether they can trust someone on the internet. With their children being digital natives, if anything, their kids would know better about the ropes of social media and the internet than they would.


To conclude, I would just like to summarise-in a few words, my response to the question of whether rules are being changed as you age. Rules are not being changed, they are being made as you grow.


Personal Statement

After scrambling all over the internet to find a template to fit this essay into, I realise that doing so would totally just eradicate the “personal” part of a personal statement. I figured that if I really wanted my personal statement to have a striking difference from others, I should write what you have not seen before.

Growing up, I always wanted to be someone that everyone knew. I remember seeing actors and actresses on the television and aspiring to be them. I wanted to be someone that people could look up to and I wanted to be able to be an inspiration for others. Obviously, this varied throughout the years as it usually does for most kids. I went from wanting to be an actress to a vet, a zookeeper to a hairdresser – this one specifically did not meet resounding positive reviews from my parents. That’s not even all of it. I wanted to be so many things. All the way from a teacher to an architect. As of right now, I honestly do not really know what I want to be anymore. It just seems so much easier to know what you want when you’re a child because you tend to believe that everything is possible after having fairytale after fairytale having indoctrinated into your head. As I write this essay, it is evident that growing up there was one thing that stayed the same about my aspirations. All I wanted was to help, whether that be helping people or animals through various career paths.

With such aspirations in life, you need certain strengths. Some of which I believe I honestly feel as though I have and others in which I know I could improve on. For as long as I can remember, I have always been rather open-minded when it comes to ideas from others. I believe that good cooperation and communication with peers is a surefire way to succeed in something. I believe I am also generous, sometimes too generous for my own good. In my younger years, I remember I sacrificed a lot for my friends in not only physical terms but emotional terms too. I also work well under pressure. There is just something about long periods of time of doing something where my mind could change at any moment and I would have to completely restart whatever it is I am doing, I would much rather just go straight for it.

Obviously, at this stage in life, I do not completely know myself as well as I did 4 years ago. Many things have changed about me. I went from being completely unaware of political issues in the world today to having a loud opinion about it. I remember driving my father off the wall as I went off on a tangent about gun control laws in America. I have also realised how important it is to find real friends. In previous schools, I made many fun friends who I liked so much that I practically idolised at one point. A lot of the time, I idolised them so much I would let them step all over me and use me. That was what I thought friendship was. In hindsight, it’s clear that is a sign of an extremely toxic relationship. Friendship is supposed to be about mutual respect and support for each other and I had never known that until recently.

I feel it is the environment that I grew up in that made me so enthusiastic about politics and helping people who faced injustices because of certain laws. Like mentioned earlier, I am very open-minded. I believe this stems from my parents never being very religious, hence I did not have to abide by certain rules most Christian households have. Not just that, being half-British and half-Filipino, I am able to see the world from both sides. One is a lot more of a developed country than the other. Another factor is also the popularity and accessibility of social media. Through social media, you can see the opinion of someone from the other side of the world in seconds. Social media is full of diverse people with a variety of different opinions that could very well affect your own. With the number of political discussions on numerous social media platforms, it is impossible to stay consistently neutral about politics as someone my age.

It is through these influences that I realised my aspiration in life. To help people and to be known for helping them. I always tell people that I want to be significant in this world and that I do not want to die with nobody knowing who I was and what I stood for. I want to specifically be known for helping people. It does not have to be physical but it can be emotional too. All I want to do is to be able to put a smile on someone’s face no matter what job I have. I still remember what started my journey in terms of this aspiration. It was back in primary school, in which my school started this activity every Thursday called, “Gratitude Thursday” It was basically a day where you take a few minutes to write a letter to anyone and tell them what you are grateful for about them. I loved seeing people have a smile spread across their face as they read their individual letters and it was when I realised, at the end of the day, I just want to be able to at least make one person smile.

Being quite a broad aspiration, I can achieve it in many ways. One instance being participating in charity and other organisations. I always tell my friends that once I am older I am eventually going to go broke with how much money I will spend to help others. There are many charities I support (The Trevor Project, the Brady campaign, etc) and if I were given a million dollars, I would not know where to start. I can also achieve it through being more involved in the arts scene. I always hear about people claiming a certain film, show or piece of literature has helped them through tough times and I want to be able to be that artist, actress or writer that supported them through my art form.

I have not done a lot so far to reach for aspirations, due to lack of opportunity which lead to a lack of motivation. However, after moving to UWCSEA, I realise the large array of opportunity before me. The reach for aspirations can start as early as joining a service and maybe let it lead up to something even bigger than just a service. Though I have not done a lot, I have at least done a couple things to cater to my future goals. One being an event my mum and I have started back in the Philippines. My grandmother lives in the province of Philippines in which many people are known to be less fortunate. So, every Christmas, my mum and I make small goody bags with food, toys, and amenities and give them to the children of my Grandmother’s village. Even when my mother and I are not home for Christmas, my Grandmother helps organise it in my name, this way, it stays sustainable. Maybe this could lead to something bigger one day.

I am definitely still unaware of a lot of things about myself. That being a given when you are in your teenage years, full of growth and confusion about said growth. It is so bad that I don’t even know my favorite color. However, there is one thing that I unquestionably know. All I want to do and will do is to make people smile no matter what.

Macbeth Act 2

Shakespeare successfully evokes contradictory feelings towards his characters. For Macbeth, he shows us through Macbeth’s regret of killing Duncan when he claims that he is, “afraid to think of what [he] has done; Look on’t again, I dare not” this shows that he still has some good in his heart which makes the audience respect him. However, the fact that actually killed Duncan shows that he is a weak-minded character as he was only persuaded to do so by Lady Macbeth (In Act 1) . Macbeth’s weak-mindedness causes the audience to feel frustrated at how easily swayed he can be, and shows how easy it would be for Macbeth to fall into the dark side. Another character who causes audience to have contradictory feelings is Lady Macbeth. While it is admirable that she is so strong and very decisive, evidence of this can be seen when she poisons the guards herself soMacbeth can kill Duncan, which can be seen in Act 2 Scene 2 when she claims, “That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold” However, feelings of praise from the audience are inconsistent because there is also a sense of fear and injustice after Shakespeare showcasing how evil Lady Macbeth is and how lacking in humanity she can be. Evidence of such characteristics can be seen in Act 2 Scene 2 when she tells Macbeth that, “My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white”

The significance of of dialogue and ensemble scenes impact the mood of the audience greatly. In Act 2 Scene 3, when the Porter speaks to the audience it causes the audience to feel uneasy. This is done with the language he uses, language that is related to hell and sin. Evidence of such language can be seen through, “Who’s there i’th’name of Beezlebub?” and “Never at quiet: what are you? But this place is too cold of hell.”.

Macbeth: Act 1

Differentiate between the direct and indirect characterisation Shakespeare uses in order to construct his characters

In the first couple of scenes, Macbeth is described by Duncan as “valour’s minion” and is generally expressed as a strong and fearless person who does not show any hesitation when it comes to killing. However, one we are introduced to Macbeth later on. From a direct characterisation, We can see his hesitation in killing Duncan to become king when Lady Macbeth proposes her maniacal plan to make her husband king. It shows that Macbeth’s attitude may just be a facade and that he is a doubtful person. Not only that, he is very feeble minded. This can be seen through how quickly he is pulled into the idea of murdering the king by Lady Macbeth doing little persuading. Clearly there is a major contrast between the direct and indirect characterisation of Macbeth.